P90X and The Black Dog

P90X Week 3 – The Do Over

This week started off really very good. Despite being on a cut I managed to either keep or increase my numbers during Chest & Back. Tuesday was Plyometrics, not a bad workout I just hate rock star hops lol. I have been substituting in The Asylum Speed & Agility but changed it up this week. Wednesday was good old Shoulder & Arms. Again holding my numbers. 

But on Wednesday afternoon I was washed over with a wave of depression. The black dog so to speak had come home. The culprit, some bad news about a stressor that has once again been pushed back. I wonder at times if I am being tested like this on purpose. Just to see how far I can be pushed. I’m feeling particularly stressed at the moment and P90X is a welcome respite for me. I went to my counselling session yesterday afternoon. Sat down and just cried. There’s been a few more flashbacks this week than usual. One in particular was pretty bad when I caught a programme my wife was watching triggered me. It just hit a little to close to the knuckle. Stress makes the flashbacks worse or more frequent. Thankfully today it’s been a free and clear day, so far. Although as I type this I feel the thoughts creeping in. But that’s ok, they are thoughts and they will pass so let’s concentrate on finishing this. 

Despite no flashbacks today, I’m drained. Physically and emotionally drained to the point where I just couldn’t face P90X Yoga or any substitute this morning. I sat watching House of Cards S5 – well worth a look as it seems back in form. So I’m going to go swimming with the oldest this afternoon, once I finish this and the wife comes backs. 

It’s difficult to beat this current wave. I feel so overwhelmed and it’s a situation which is completely out of my control. That’s not what I’m used to, I’m usually in control. I can influence events, I can’t with this. I shouldn’t take it personally as it’s part of a process but it’s difficult not to find myself completely consumed by it. I catastrophise that’s part of the condition, that’s part of the autism and that’s just me. I have held on for so long. I can hold on a little longer. I can beat this. I will beat this. 




P90X Plus Kenpo Cardio

Bringing it again this morning with some P90X Plus Kenpo Cardio. A quick coffee and I was good to go first thing this morning – fasted cardio time babies. 

So a quick 6 minute warmup not to dissimilar to Kenpo X with stretches and yoga. Then it’s bang into the workout. It’s a repeat workout with 3 rounds and a 1 minute cardio break between each block. The cardio break is twists, skipping, jumping jacks and pivots. 

Now the workout, each move is done for a total of 1 minute often split as 30 seconds per side

Round 1:

1 – Jab, Cross, Shuffle

2 – Hook, Uppercut, Shuffle

3 – Jab, Step, Cross

4 – Double Hammer, Lunge, Sword

5 – Low Block, Hammer, Front Kick

6 – Side Speed Kicks

Cardio Break

Round 1 – Repeat

Cardio Break

Round 2:
7 – Jab, Uppercut, Back Kick

8 – Claw, Hammer, Lunge
9 – Claw, Hammer, Kick

10 – Back Fist, Hammer, Knee Kick, Front Kick

11 – Elbow, Sword, Back Kick

Cardio Break

Round 2 – Repeat

Cardio Break
Round 3:
12 – The Gladiator

13 – Spinning Sword
14 – Spinning Sword, Back Hammer
15 – Double Sword, Knee Kick, Back Kick
16 – High Block, Knee Kick Burn Out
Cardio Break
Round 3 – Repeat
Cool Down 
2.5 minutes of the usual ballistic stretches. 

This is a routine where you need some familiarity with the moves as it moves fast and you only get to sip some water a few times. 

I have to say I was drenched in sweat at the end. As I did the cooldown sweat was dripping off me onto the mat and yes I cleaned the may post workout lol

Definitely more condensed and intense than Kenpo X as it is combination moves and not the build up that Kenpo X does for a lot of moves. But here’s the thing I believe Kenpo X is a pretty good workout. Yeah sit down now. It’s not as intense as some of the routines but you can’t be so hard or intense every single day. What it does do is bring you heart rate up to that fat burning zone and not into the cardio zone. Also it is as intense as you make it, engage your core every time you move and you toast calories. But some effort in and again more calories burned. 

Yes by all means use Kenpo Cardio as an alternative but Kenpo X can do an equally good job. 

As for sleep, yet I got a full night of uninterrupted sleep. Feeling great today. But typical Northern Irish weather, it’s raining and my wife is working on some course work. So my little boy and I are inside today. We are currently going through Thomas & Friends. All his trains are out, tracks are built and he has his Thomas t shirt on. But that’s autism for you, completely focused on a single topic. Consumed by it. He’s currently watching some Thomas episodes on Netflix as I type this. He won’t be too impressed with our next job – some verb cards. Now there will be a battle. 

Enjoy your weekend, we definitely will and tomorrow it’s X Stretch time. 

Yours in health and fitness



A Change of Pace & A Little Regret

It’s been a rough week sleep wise. With junior’s infection, disrupted sleep and the heat making it difficult to sleep I’m exhausted. I was actually told that yesterday at a meeting.  They offered to let me sleep in the room for half an hour but I powered on. 

On Wednesday I managed to get through P90X Shoulders and arms keeping my numbers from the following week. Thursday I just did P90X3 yoga. I wasn’t looking forward to 50mins of yoga so I did something a little shorter. P90X3 is good if not a little rushed. You don’t get the isometric holds in yoga but it’s the sense of accomplishment in getting something done that’s important. 

Today I was feeling just as tired and really couldn’t face Legs & Back so I did another swop. It was for RIPT90’s deadlift killer. I’ve never done this one before. Truth is I have never done the whole RIPT90. It was a gift, I did the leg routine before and wasn’t impressed. The pacing was off and there is absolutely no cool down. Deadlift killer wasn’t impressive either. 20 reps of deadlifts, single leg deadlift, stiff leg deadlift, stiff single leg deadlift, sumo deadlift and 25 sit ups. Done for 3 rounds and 50 jump lunges at the end. The cool down was a lift jog followed by a side oblique stretch and nothing else for legs. I just did my own 10 minute cooldown of P90X stretches. Back to the cupboard with RIPT90. P90X you have ruined me for other trainers lol, the bar is set high. 
The other reason for not doing legs and back was my preworkout. It made me feel sick today. The culprit was Real Pharm Unreal Blue Sky flavour. What was left of the tub is now binned. 

So the little regret today is not that I worked out it was choice of programme. Deadlift killer was 38 minutes plus my 10 minute cooldown leaving it 10 mins short of Legs and Back. I should have stuck with legs and back. 

Also as this week has been a write off I will be repeating it. I will finish it off with P90X Kenpo Cardio tomorrow and then X Stretch on Sunday. Life happens folks, kids get sick, we get a poor week of sleep and the nutrition slips. I won’t let it get me down. I will repeat and go from there. 

Hopefully the sun is shining with you and you are able to enjoy it. Weather is going to break here after today so this evening it’s off to the beach for some ice cream and fun. 

See you in a few days 



Lack of Sleep & P90X

It’s week 3 Day 1 of Classic P90X, as per the calendar that means -> Chest & Back and ARX. I was looking forward to the chest pump of Chest & Back today but my little angel had other ideas. Last night was a horrid night, late to bed, soreness and interrupted sleep. 

So let’s back up a little, yesterday was a lazy day at home. That was until we had to go out and run and errand for the delightful mother in law. Junior went along for the ride and fell asleep mid afternoon. Every parents worst nightmare. Combine that with Autism and you get a very late night. So late to bed it was and then he was up every few hours at 1,3 and 5am. Complaints of soreness prompted reliable calpol and then nurofen. (Or suitable alternate brands). A word of advice on that try and leave 3 hours between these initially – first calpol and then 3 hours later nurofen. The staggering means the child won’t be without pain relief. 

So 7am came around and the little guy was up bouncing about looking breakfast. Today’s order was brioche. Off to nursery he went. 

My P90X journey just did not happen today. I had setup everything but was yawning and feeling very tired and sleepy. I started off, got through the warmup. Thinking yes I can do this. First round held up my numbers from last week – 40 standard push ups, 20 wide grip pull ups, 28 military push ups and 16 reverse grip chin ups. Disaster during the break. I sat down to look at my next numbers and hit a wall. Couldn’t stop yawning and a wave of tiredness hit me. Got to do 28 double wide push ups and just collapsed. Energy gone. Sapped into a black hole. I paused the DVD and just did shavasna on the mat for about 20 mins. 

So P90X ground to a halt, no ARX either. I’ve looked at my calendar and I will repeat today next Monday and shift the other days accordingly. I will drop X stretch on Wednesday of next to make room. 

Currently watching Twin Peaks S3. Up to ep3 when I decided to take a break and write this. It’s as weird as every – brilliant. Also attempting not to take an afternoon nap. 

Until later in the week


P90X2 Day 18 – Planning Recovery Week

It doesn’t seem as if it’s been almost 3 weeks since I began this P90X2 journey. I’ve really enjoyed the workouts thus far, however I am rapidly loosing enthusiasm for Recovery & Mobility. It’s twice a week and will have done it 6 times by the end of week 3. Recovery week means you do it 4 out of 7 days. That’s where I am at now; the cusp of recovery week. Phase 1 is recommended for between 3 and 6 weeks, coming off the back of P90x3 my core is good and I’ve upped weights and reps in every exercise in the workouts. I’m ready to move on after 3 weeks

I am not impressed by P90X2 recovery week it’s very different from X and X3 recovery weeks. P90x2 alternates daily for the week between Recovery & Mobility and yoga. X and X3 have a variety of workouts during said week. I enjoy variety and getting bored of X2 recovery and mobility is not making me look forward to next week. So what to do? I’m going to do the following routine for the week:

Monday: P90X3 dynamix
Tuesday: P90x2 Yoga
Wednesday: P90x X Stretch
Thursday: P90X Yoga – yoga only
Friday: P90X Yoga – balance section only
Saturday: P90x3 yoga
Sunday: Recovery & Mobility

Hopefully this will combine a good variety across this week. Recovery & Mobility may end up being just foam rolling under my own instruction, that will be the plan for Phase 2 & 3 also.

Regardless I’m loving these routines, they are challenging and with variety. I’m looking forward to phase 2 which will be 4 weeks and then another recovery week.

Keep bringing it, why? Because you can.

Yours in health & fitness


Tony MacIMG_1131.JPG

Let’s talk about P90X Yoga & some alternatives

It’s hard if not impossible to have a conversation with anyone who has attempted or completed P90x without complaints arising surrounding Yoga. That’s my experience anyway, it is a behemoth at 90 minutes long and is by far the longest of any workout.

I’ll be honest I have never completed the full 90 minutes, never have and unlikely I ever will. I have completed the 90 minutes; simply I’ve split it into 2 parts. The first 50 minutes is yoga the second part is pure balance poses. So I split the workout like that. I did the yoga in the morning and if I had time I would do the balance poses in the evening. That’s option 1 and probably a very good option for most

The next alternative is Tony Hortons One on One series which has a yoga work out called fountain of youth. This is my go to yoga workout for P90X. It’s got all the good stuff and is a really fun 45 minutes including some great stretching routines at the end. The down side of this is you will need a region unlocked DVD – many codes are available online for free to unlock DVD players.

You may also swap in P90x2 Yoga (67 minutes) or P90x3 yoga (30 minutes) or 21 Day Fix Yoga (30 minutes). However you will need to have bought these programmes and spending extra £’s may now be in everyone’s budget.

For the wrestling fans it’s worth checking out DDP yoga previously know as YRG (Yoga for Regular Guys). This a yoga programme created by former wrestler Diamond Dallas Page (DDP). A number of former and current wrestlers from Jake the Snake Roberts and Chris Jericho follow this programme and have helped with rehabilitation. If you have some free time check out Arthur Boorman’s life changing DDP yoga results ( Arthur Boorman DDP ). This a fun routine with many moves renamed, warrior poses are Road Warrior and crow/crane is Black Crow etc. Routines range from 20 minutes to 50 minutes depending on the routine selected. Again it will mean you need to shell out for another full program.

You could go to a local yoga class – yes this defeats the purpose of working out at home but it’s a great way to ensure your poses are correct and get started in yoga.

Finally there are plenty of online resources from YouTube to apps that teach yoga with varying costs, lengths and abilities. These free resources are a great way to get some yoga moves into your P90x routine without spending any more money.

Yes P90X yoga is a behemoth, it’s the workout Tony always gets a hard time about due to its length. Perhaps running a close second is Kenpo X and Wesley Idols poor poor horse stance. Buts nevertheless the first 50 minutes of yoga are gold and should be the first stop for anyone doing P90x for the first time and it costs nothing. Even alternate weeks between the yoga and balance routine.

Any questions folks, just ask below!

Yours in fitness & health


Tony Mac

Some Background on moi

Greetings from Sunny Belfast – not too often said especially in November

So time to share a little about me!

I’m Tony McCloskey, live in Belfast with my wife, 2 kids, dog and cockatiel. I’ve been in they gym scene for about 10 years now, post university is when it go serious. At school I was rubbish at sports – still am in fairness and was never on any teams playing competitively. My fitness journey didn’t start until post uni and I went in big I did the Belfast City Marathon in a relay team. What an experience I trained on the treadmill for weeks and when it came to do my 6 miles I was slaughtered but enjoyed the experience. I went back got training properly and the following year did the full Marathon in a time of 3:27. I bounced around the gym for a year or two before I got into bodybuilding which I stuck at for 5 years. At the end of 5 years I was massive, a 46 inch chest and 38 inch waist, benching a 1rm of 130kg etc. Almost 3 years ago my wife and I were expecting our second child and I decided it wouldn’t be fair going forward to be spending an hour in the gym everyday. So I stopped bodybuilding, cut down on the gym and cut my portions. In 3 months I went from an XL to a Medium. Our son was born and the gym completely fell away. A few months passed and I was missing the gym but life was happening, the house was busy, work was busy and I just didn’t make the time. As the baby settled into a sleeping pattern I got up with him early in the morning. One morning in January 2013 at around 6 I was hopping around the channels finding something to watch when I came upon a BeachBody commercial for Insanity. It got me interested I researched it online and thought brilliant I’ll order it which I did. So it arrived and sat in our spare room until June 2013 when I eventually opened it out of the box. I started it, nearly died but kept pushing playing and lost inches and about 7 kg. I ordered P90X, completed it and did the same with Focus T25 and as of 8 Nov I will have completed 2 rounds of P90x3 including the Elite Block.

I made the the time to do workouts in the morning at 6am. I’ve built up my arsenal of fitness equipment and done loads of varied nutrition.

I’ll be doing a quick review of P90x3 shortly and will be starting P90x2 on the 9 Nov.

That’s my journey so far and it all hasn’t gone smoothly, life has happened things change but I’m still here pushing play, showing up and being consistent. I love the BeachBody programmes I’ve done so far and look forward to sharing my experiences of them, my fitness equipment, nutrition, supplements and life with you all.

If you have any questions please just comment below.

Yours in fitness and health